After months of quiet experimentation with select MVNO partners, most notably Ting, Sprint has announced the official rollout of its BYOSD program for all Sprint MVNOs as a way for partners to be able to reduce the costs of acquiring customers by being given the option to reactivate previously activated Sprint devices on low-cost services.
While the main purpose of the program is to help MVNOs, the program also encourages more responsible usage of older, but still usable and functional devices by recycling them back into use instead of disposing them completely and adding to the growing electronic waste issues present in the current marketplace thanks to rapidly compressing device development and release lifetimes compared to previous years, which has lead to more frequent upgrades for customers and more devices sitting idle and ultimately going unused. Sprint’s environmentally conscious reasoning for the program follows below:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 135 million cell phones are discarded each year. Reusing or recycling these phones could save enough energy to power more than 24,000 homes for a year.
The program is also a boon for those that want to jump on Sprint MVNO, but do not want to spend much money on purchasing devices outright, as many Sprint-branded devices can be easily found secondhand with clean serial numbers for up to half of their original retail pricing, making the option more attractive to more people.
With the BYOSD program, MVNO customers simply bring a deactivated Sprint device to their participating Sprint-powered MVNO, who must determine the device’s eligibility for the program. Upon meeting those qualifications, the device is then activated by the MVNO, though it should be noted that many devices activated under the program will have certain functionality rendered inaccessible such as premium Sprint postpaid services, as MVNOs are not given access to such services by Sprint as spelled out in the BYOSD Terms and Conditions.
Below, the current Sprint BYOSD Terms and Conditions as they are currently implemented on Ting and low-profile MVNO Prepayd Wireless:
Bring Your Own Sprint Device Terms and Conditions
Because your Sprint device is no longer active on a Sprint retail account, many of the device features will no longer work.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Sprint Zone
- Sprint Family Locator
- TeleNav GPS
- Sprint Radio
- Sprint Music
- Sprint TV
- Sprint Mobile Sync
- Sprint Powerdeck
- Sprint My Account
- Sprint Mobile Wallet
In addition, these features may not work:
- Picture Mail
- Multimedia Services
Bring Your Own Sprint Device does not support the following:
- Non-Sprint Phones Including those from: Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Assurance Wireless, Tracfone, GSM, or any non-Sprint CDMA Devices.
- Phones cannot be active with any Sprint Customer
- Phones must have a Clean Electronic Serial Number (ESN) sometimes referred to as MEID, DEC, HEX, or IMEI
- Phones cannot be flashed, cloned, or manipulated from Original Factory Settings
- Phones cannot be one of the following Phone Types:
- No iPhones
- No Blackberry Phones
- No Palm Phones
- No Push to Talk Phones
- Q-Chat Phones
Currently, Ting is the only high-profile Sprint MVNO participating in the Sprint BYOSD program, while Boost Mobile is operating a limited trial for BYOSD currently only available to select third-party dealers; other Sprint MVNOs such as TracFone have yet to confirm participation in the program despite directly offering branded Sprint-powered devices over the past couple of years and being heavily rumored to roll out such support in the last few months across multiple brands.
The official launch of the program also marks another change for Sprint as it also recently launched its own internally branded prepaid service with its own lineup and increases its short-term focus on diversifying options to retain and attract new customers.